Wednesday, September 20, 2017
We’re in the business of asking questions. Sometimes, those questions are hard ones, and, honestly, we often know the answer before we ask. But we still have to ask.
Last week, the Falls City City Council decided unanimously not to ask voters about whether or not to close the Wagner Community Library. Instead, they decided themselves to begin the proceedings required to close it.
They had discussed putting a levy on the November ballot, asking voters to financially support the struggling facility.
Falls City voters have recently turned down two opportunities to support the school district in its attempts to build gyms and better buildings.
Thinking of those votes, the council was perhaps discouraged in thinking that the library request would be similarly denied. Also on the council’s mind are other needs — street repairs and firefighting equipment. What are the chances that voters would approve not one, but two requests for money?
Sometimes it’s good to remember what it was like to be young. You know your mom is probably going to tell you that you can’t have another cookie, but you ask for it anyway.
That’s exactly what Falls City City Council should have done in this case — ask for the cookie.
The worst the community could do is say “no.” But residents have the right to decide what issues matter to them most.
The community of Falls City may have a string of “no” votes behind them, but they also have an impressive spirit of cooperation and support of things that matter to them.
If the library matters to them, they will support it.
The council’s vote is final, but the closure process can be reversed.
If the community wants to keep the library open, it needs to act now and come together — as it so frequently does. The people of Falls City need to volunteer at the library and decide how to pay for the library manager, as well as the building and programs.
If not, the nearest public library will be in Dallas.
Nonresidents can obtain a free library card, but it has more limits on how many items can be checked out.
Nonresidents can pay a fee ($60 per year for a household) to have the same check-out privileges as a Dallas resident.
We understand the city council has to balance a number of issues, but the people deserve a chance to show which of those issues are most important to them, not have others assume they know what’s important to the community.